Victoria: Environment Canada said Tumbler Ridge and Dawson Creek are experiencing heavy smoke and temperatures almost 10 degrees above normal.

It is expected that this could hamper efforts to fight the out-of-control West Kiskatinaw River wildfire burning east of Tumbler Ridge.

Around 2,400 residents were evacuated on Thursday as a result of the blaze, with many fanned out to Dawson Creek, Chetwynd and Fort St. John.

The B-C Wildfire Service said at present, there are now 83 active forest fires in the province.  

Tofino mayor Dan Law said provincial officials have told him that a stretch of Highway 4 in the area will not reopen until a wildfire in the area is sufficiently suppressed.

Law said officials told him that the highway itself remains in good shape.

A four-hour back-road detour allowing for limited movement was closed for much of Friday as a vehicle was pulled from a lake.

Premier David Eby said BC residents need to be careful not just in the backcountry, but in any forested area, as the province faces the potential for significant wildfire activity this summer. — Canadian Press

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